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Monday, August 15, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: MICHAEL FULMER SP DETROIT TIGERS

Well the AL Rookie of the Year award is already settled.  And maybe even the Cy Young.  This was put into clear focus Sunday afternoon when Detroit Tigers spectacular rookie SP Michael Fulmer engineered his latest gem when he threw a complete game four-hit shutout against the Texas Rangers in Texas of all places.  Winning his 10th game in 19 starts subce debuting at the end of April, you can argue that Fulmer has been the best pitcher in the game since June.  His ERA's in June, July and August so far read as follows:  0.61, 2.67, and 1.19.  Ace numbers no matter the format.  And all in his rookie season in the tough American League and at the ripe young age of 23. 

As far as digging in a bit more on Fulmer and his numbers, keep in mind that when it comes to the massive stable of young arms that recently came out of the New York Mets system (Steven Matz, Noah Syndegaard, Matt Harvey, and Jacob DeGrom), Fulmer was every bit included in that class of pitcher in that locale.  So highly regarded was Fulmer as a former 2011 first round pick that the Mets were forced to trade him to the Tigers in the deal that netted Yoenis Cespedes.  Clearly a trade that worked out for both sides.  Anyways as far as the numbers are concerned, the ERA's are obviously incredibly dominant and Fulmer's high-end four pitch arsenal constantly keeps hitters guessing as to what is coming next.  Now Fulmer is not a power pitcher per se as his average 7.73 K/9 rate with the Tigers shows but again everything else is high end.  Fulmer doesn't beat himself with walks (2.40) which is especially crucial in the AL and his home run rate is decent at 1.12 HR/9.  Now we do have to point out that Fulmer has gotten lucky with his BABIP which at .248 is veyr much in the fortunate range.  Thus it is no surprise that the FIP ERA for Fulmer is 3.46 and his XFIP a higher 3.69. This makes sense because Fulmer doesn't miss bats at a high enough clip to sustain a BABIP like he currently has and so there will be correction either in September or next season.  Now I am not saying Fulmer is not a top-end starter by any means.  The kid has great stuff and will likely continue to be a front line guy going forward.  Instead I see him more as an SP 2 than an ace when the luck turns.  Other than that, Fulmer is right there as one of the greatest fantasy baseball values of the 2016 season. 


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